Morning Consult’s inaugural report of the Most Polarizing Brands in America is out, and the top 10 is comprised entirely of news outlets—with two exceptions: Trump Hotels and the National Football League.
Trump Hotels is the No. 1 most polarizing brand, Morning Consult finds, which means that it has the largest difference in favorability between Democrats and Republicans.
After Trump Hotels are: CNN; Fox News and NBC News, tied at No. 3; New York Times; and MSNBC and the NFL, tied at No. 6.
Morning Consult based its report on 336,370 surveys conducted online, across the US, from Oct. 3, 2017 through Jan. 2, 2018. The surveys yielded more than 1,900 brands, and Morning Consult ranked only the top 30 most polarizing.
The charts that accompany the top 30 also show whether a brand is more favorable among Democrats or Republicans. Trump Hotels, unsurprisingly, is more favorable with Republicans, as is Fox News. The NFL is more favorable among Democrats.
As Super Bowl 52 approaches, the NFL is wrapping up an objectively tough year: primetime television ratings in the regular season fell by nearly 10% on average, and political controversy overshadowed the game on the field, spurred on by angry tweets from President Trump that criticized NFL leadership for allowing players to protest during the national anthem.
At a press conference in October, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We’re trying to stay out of politics.” But the broader political realm in 2017 and 2018 has not allowed that. In a recent Seton Hall University poll, 33% of people who identify as NFL fans said they “purposely stopped watching” this year.